Edwin Huizinga - Artistic Director (Biography)
Paul Eichhorn - Festival Manager - Paul has over two decades of experience in the arts and culture not-for-profit sector as well as an extensive background in arts administration, event management, marketing and promotions, and fundraising. In recent years he has provided his expertise to the Billy Bishop Home & Museum as well as the City of Owen Sound as Project Coordinator of the successful Tall Ships Owen Sound event. He has sat on numerous arts and culture committees in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and Grey County and is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Paul has also has written for several publications including The Toronto Star , The Globe and Mail, and Waterloo Region Record. In recent years, he hosted and co-produced programs on Rogers TV focusing on history and politics.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Colleen Purdon, Chair - Colleen has worked for over 35 years as a therapist, researcher, consultant and administrator to further equality, opportunities and safety for rural women and their children She studied music at Queen’s University and completed a diploma in Music Therapy at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London England. She is the Coordinator of the Violence Prevention Grey Bruce (1997 – present), and works with the Building a Bigger Wave provincial network to coordinate violence against women strategies across the province. Colleen was a city councillor in Owen Sound from 2011 to 2014. Colleen has been a member of the Board, as Vice-Chair, since our last AGM in 2015. Her leadership will contribute significantly to SweetWater’s continuing success. Colleen served at Chair of the SweetWater Board over the past year.
Jill Willington, Treasurer - Jill had a long career as a Certified Public Accountant working for several private and not-for-profit organizations. Along with her professional experience, she has sat on many not-for-profit boards including Music Alive and the Federation of Women Teachers' Association of Ontario. Jill came to Grey County at age 11 and has lived in Owen Sound, Thornbury and currently resides in Clarksburg. She is now retired from her accounting career but enjoys pursuing other interests including a great interest in music and playing cello.
Shawna Macivor, Secretary- Retired from a career teaching at Massey University in New Zealand and doing policy analysis for the Ontario government. Recently moved back to Owen Sound. Thrilled to find a classic and jazz music festival to rival the city's stellar Summerfolk festival. Happy to volunteer on the Board of SweetWater supporting such high calibre music and led by the effervescent and multi-talented Mark Fewer. Along with being a Board Director over the past year, Shawna was also a key member of our Fundraising and Promotions Committee.
Lynda Montgomery, Director-at-Large – Lynda has been involved with many local arts and culture organizations over the years. This past year she volunteered on the SweetWater Fundraising Marketing Committee and assisted with Festival activities in 2016. She was one of the original SweetWater Board members (4 years) and was also a past board member and president of the Georgian Bay Symphony. She also helped to establish and run the Bluewater Youth Orchestra. Over the years, Lynda has served on several chiropractic boards in various capacities. She is currently on the Ontario Review Board for mental health.
Jackie Mersich, Director-at-Large – Jackie began her long interest in music while studying trumpet and piano while growing up Manitoba. Playing in community orchestras and ensembles was a major influence in developing a strong interest in the arts and music. In more recent years, she has continued her involvement with music by participating in the Georgian Bay Symphony, the Georgian Bay Brass quintet, and the Georgian Bay Concert Choir. This also led to her sitting on the boards of the Georgian Bay Symphony, Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras, the Georgian Bay Children's Choir, and the Georgian Bay Concert Choir.
Charlotte MacFarlane, Director-at-Large - Charlotte has a background in municipal policy development and analysis at local and provincial association levels. Her works over the years has included health planning, management training for national mental health, and community planning and development. On the music side, she studied voice through Grade 9 RCM, and has been a song leader, soloist, and member of church and community choirs. Charlotte supported the Timmins Symphony Orchestra children’s camps and events, and was a volunteer and member of the Porcupine Music Festival’s Executive. Since moving to Owen Sound in late summer 2018, Charlotte joined the Threshold Singers, who provide comforting music at the bedsides of residents of a local palliative facility. She's also swaying and feeling the joy of music in Coco Love Alcorn’s newly-formed Wonderland Singers.